Quotations about   hell

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But, as for thee, I think and deem it well
     Thou take me for thy guide, and pass with me
     Through an eternal place and terrible
Where thou shalt hear despairing cries, and see
     Long-departed souls that in their torments dire
     Howl for the second death perpetually.

[Ond’ io per lo tuo me’ penso e discerno
     che tu mi segui, e io sarò tua guida,
     e trarrotti di qui per loco etterno;
ove udirai le disperate strida,
     vedrai li antichi spiriti dolenti,
     ch’a la seconda morte ciascun grida.]

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 1, l. 112ff (1.112-117) (1320) [tr. Sayers (1949)]
    (Source)

Virgil, offering Dante a tour of Hell. There is some debate, reflected in the various translations, as to whether the "second death" is the death of the soul upon damnation, the endless punishments of the damned, a prayed-for total annihilation to end their torment, or the destruction of Hell after the Last Judgment. See Rev. 2:11, 20:14, 21:8.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

     Wherefore I think, and judge it best that you
Should follow me, and I will be your Guide
From hence to places of eternal woe,
Where you shall hear the wailings of despair,
And see the Ghosts of former times lament,
Who eagerly request a second death.
[tr. Rogers (1782)]

But Heav'n in love to thee hath sent me here
A kind and faithful guide -- dismiss thy fear,
     Thro' other worlds to lead thy steps along.
     Thine ears must meet the yell of stern despair,
Where Heav'n's avending hand forgets to spare,
     And tribes forlorn a second death implore.
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 20-21]

I for thy profit pond'ring now devise,
That thou mayst follow me, and I thy guide
Will lead thee hence through an eternal space,
Where thou shalt hear despairing shrieks, and see
Spirits of old tormented, who invoke
A second death.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Now for thy weal I counsel and perpend
     Thou follow hence where I shall lead thee on
     Through realm eternal, whither if thou wend.
Thine ear shall hear the shrieks of hope foregone,
     Thine eye shall see the souls of eld in woe,
     That ever call the second death upon.
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

     Wherefore I think and discern this for thy best, that thou follow me; and I will be thy guide, and lead thee hence through an eternal place,
     where thou shalt hear the hopeless shrieks, shalt see the ancient spirits in pain, so that each calls for a second death.
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

Thou wilt follow me and I will be thy guide --
'Tis for thy sake, I think I can discern.
From hence I'll lead thee through the place alone,
Where thou shalt hear the desperate shrieks, and see
The Antique Spirits in their misery --
Upon the second death they all will cry.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

To thee then better counsel I commend,
     Follow thou me and I will be thy guide,
     And lead thee hence through the Eternal Realms'
Where thou shalt hear the wail of wild despair,
     And of old times the sorrowful spirits see
     Calling in anguish for the second death.
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

Therefore I think and judge it for thy best
     ⁠Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide,
     ⁠And lead thee hence through the eternal place,
Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations,
     ⁠Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate,
     ⁠Who cry out each one for the second death.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Wherefore I for thy bettering think and decide that thou follow me; and I will be thy guide, and will draw thee from here through an eternal place, where thou shalt hear the shrieks of despair, shalt see the ancient spirits in woe, who each cry upon the second death.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Now for thy profit in my thoughts I trace
How thou mayst follow, I will guide thee fair,
From here I'll lead thee through eternal space,
Where thou shalt hear the shriekings of despair,
Shalt see the ancient spirits grief-possest,
Who each the second death invokes with prayer.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

Wherefore I think and deem it for thy best that thou follow me, and I will be thy guide, and will lead thee hence through the eternal place where thou shalt hear the despairing shrieks, shalt see the ancient spirits woeful who each proclaim the second death.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Wherefore in thy behoof I think and deem it well, that thou shouldst follow me ; and I will be thy guide, and lead thee out from this place through the eternal realms, where thou shalt hear shriekings of despair, shalt see the ancient spirits in their sorrowing, so that each crieth aloud for second death.
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

And therefore, for thy good, I thus determine.
     That thou do follow me, and I will guide thee,
     And hence will take thee through a place eternal,
Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations,
     Shalt see the ancient spirits in their dolour.
     Where for the second death each one makes outcry.
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

Therefore, considering what is best for thee, I judge that thou shouldst follow me, and I shall be thy guide and lead thee hence through an eternal place where thou shalt hear the despairing shrieks of the ancient spirits in pain who each bewail the second death.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Wherefore I judge this fittest for thy case
     That I should lead thee, and thou follow in faith,
     To journey hence through an eternal place,
Where thou shalt hear cries of despairing breath,
     Shalt look on the ancient spirits in their pain,
     Such that each calls out for a second death.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

     Therefore, for your own good, I think it well
you follow me and I will be your guide
     and lead you forth through an eternal place.
     There you shall see the ancient spirits tried
in endless pain, and hear their lamentation
     as each bemoans the second death of souls.
[tr. Ciardi (1954), l. 105ff]

Therefore I think and deem it best that you should follow me, and I will be your guide and lead you hence through an eternal place, where you shall hear the despairing shrieks and see the ancient tormented spirits who all bewail the second death.
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

And so, I think it best you follow me
     for your own good, and I shall be your guide
     and lead you out through an eternal place
where you will hear desperate cries, and see
     tormented shades, some old as Hell itself,
     and know what second death is, from their screams.
[tr. Musa (1971)]

Therefore, I think and judge it best for you
     to follow me, and I shall guide you, taking
     you from this place through an eternal place,
where you shall hear the howls of desperation
     and see the ancient spirits in their pain,
     as each of them laments his second death
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

The course I think would be the best for you,
     Is to follow me, and I will act as your guide
     And show a way out of here, by a place in eternity.
Where you will hear the shrieks of men without hope,
     And will see the ancient spirits in such pain
     That every one of them calls out for a second death.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

Therefore I judge it best that you should choose
     To follow me, and I will be your guide
     Away from here and through an eternal space:
To hear the cries of despair, and to behold
     Ancient tormented spirts as they lament
     In chorus the second death they must abide.
[tr. Pinsky (1994)]

     Thus for your good I think and judge that you shall follow me, and I shall be your guide, and I will lead you from here through an eternal place,
     where you will hear the desperate shrieks, you will see the ancient suffering spirits, who all cry out at the second death.
[tr. Durling (1996)]

It is best, as I think and understand, for you to follow me, and I will be your guide, and lead you from here through an eternal space where you will hear the desperate shouts, will see the ancient spirits in pain, so that each one cries out for a second death.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

     Therefore, considering what's best for you,
I judge that you should follow, I should guide,
and hence through an eternal space lead on.
     There you shall hear shrill cries of desperation,
And see those spirits, mourning ancient pain,
who all cry out for death to come once more.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

Therefore, for your sake, I think it wise
     you follow me: I will be your guide,
     leading you, form here, through an eternal place
where you shall hear despairing cries
     and see those ancient souls in pain
     as they bewail their second death.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

And this is why I think you must allow
     Yourself to follow me, and I must guide
     And lead you across an eternal land, where crowds
Of desperate souls will constantly shriek and cry,
     And you will see the souls of the ancient dead
     In pain, wanting another chance to die.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

But by now I've pondered well
The path adapted best to serve your cause,
So let me be your guide. I'll take you through
The timeless breaker's yard where you will hear
The death cries of the damned who die anew
Every day, though dead already in the year --
No dated stones remain to give a clue --
The earliest sinners died, when time began.
[tr. James (2013), l. 146ff]

Added on 23-Sep-22 | Last updated 23-Sep-22
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Did universal charity prevail, earth would be a heaven, and hell a fable.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon, Vol. 1, # 160 (1820)
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What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy?

To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy.

To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy.

To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy.

To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy.

To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy.

To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy.

To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy.

To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy.

To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy.

The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers.

The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Speech to the Jury, Trial of C. B. Reynolds for Blasphemy, Morristown, New Jersey (May 1887)
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Once, when a religionist denounced me in unmeasured terms, I sent him a card saying, “I am sure you believe that I will go to hell when I die, and that once there I will suffer all the pains and tortures the sadistic ingenuity of your deity can devise and that this torture will continue forever. Isn’t that enough for you? Do you have to call me bad names in addition?”

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Russian-American author, polymath, biochemist
I, Asimov, ch. 73 “Letters” (1979)
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I am convinced that boredom is one of the greatest tortures. If I were to imagine Hell, it would be the place where you were continually bored.

Erich Fromm (1900-1980) American psychoanalyst and social philosopher
“Medicine and the Ethical Problem of Modern Man,” The Dogma of Christ and Other Essays (1931)
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And I’ve always said, you know, that I don’t respect people that don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell — or not getting eternal life, or whatever — and you think that, “Well, it’s not really worth tellin’ ’em this, because it would make it socially awkward.” And atheists who think that people shouldn’t proselytize, “Just leave me alone. Keep your religion to yourself.” How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

I mean, if I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it, that a truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point where I tackle you — and this is more important than that.

Penn Jillette (b. 1955) American stage magician, actor, musician, author
“A Gift of a Bible,” Penn Says, ep. 192 (9 Dec 2008)
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Hell is not in torture.
Hell is in an empty heart.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
“The Sayings of the Brook [Ma Taqul al-Saqiyah]” [tr. Sheban]
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To those who wish to punish others — or at least to see them punished, if the avengers are too cowardly to take matters into their own hands — the belief in a fiery, hideous hell appears to be a great source of comfort.

Steve Allen (1922-2000) American composer, entertainer, and wit.
Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality, “Hell” (1990)
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What makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven.

Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962) American novelist and freelance journalist
Damned, ch. 1 (2011)
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As to a hereafter, we have not the slightest evidence that there is any — no evidence that appeals to logic and reason. I have never seen what to me seemed an atom of proof that there is a future life. And yet — I am strongly inclined to expect one.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Quoted in Albert Bigelow Paine, Mark Twain: A Biography, Vol. 4, ch. 264 (1922)
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If you’ve lived a bad life, they send you to Hell. But if you’ve been truly wicked, they give you a tour of Heaven first.

Spider Robinson (b. 1948) American-Canadian author
Callahan’s Lady (1989)
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Ambition hath one heel nailed in hell, though she stretch her finger to touch the heavens.

John Lyly (c. 1553-1606) was an English writer [also Lilly or Lylie]
Midas: A Comedy, Act 2, sc. 1 [Sophronia] (1592)
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Sometimes misquoted as "nailed in well." Sometimes misattributed to Lao-tzu.
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Fools! who fancy Christ mistaken;
Man a tool to buy and sell;
Earth a failure, God-forsaken,
Ante-room of Hell.

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) English clergyman, historian, essayist, novelist (pseud. "Parson Lot")
“The World’s Age” (1849)
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And, when you, looking on your fellow men
Behold them doomed to endless misery,
How can you talk of joy and rapture then?
May God withhold such cruel joy from me!

Anne Brontë (1820-1849) British novelist, poet [pseud. Acton Bell]
“A Word to Calvinists” (28 May 1843)
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You may rejoice to think yourselves secure,
You may be grateful for the gift divine,
That grace unsought which made your black hearts pure
And fits your earthborn souls in Heaven to shine.
But is it sweet to look around and view
Thousands excluded from that happiness,
Which they deserve at least as much as you,
Their faults not greater nor their virtues less?

Anne Brontë (1820-1849) British novelist, poet [pseud. Acton Bell]
“A Word to Calvinists” (28 May 1843)
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I think Hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go.

gaiman-hell-is-something-you-carry-around-wist_info-quote

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
(Attributed)
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“Do unto others …” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -­‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”

You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.

Ricky Gervais (b. 1961) English comedian, actor, director, writer
“Why I’m an Atheist,” Wall Street Journal (19 Dec 2010)
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For man’s only weapon is courage that flinches not from the gates of Hell itself, and against such not even the legions of Hell can stand.

Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) American author
“Skulls in the Stars,” Weird Tales (Jan 1929)
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The doors of Hell are locked on the inside. I do not mean that the ghosts may not wish to come out of Hell, in the vague fashion wherein an envious man “wishes” to be happy: but they certainly do not will even the first preliminary stages of that self-abandonment through which alone the soul can reach any good. They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved: just as the blessed, forever submitting to obedience, become through all eternity more and more free.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
The Problem of Pain (1940)
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Music and silence — how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell — though longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express — no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise — Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile — Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
The Screwtape Letters (1942)
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The coldest depth of Hell is reserved for people who abandon kittens.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
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HAWKEYE: War isn’t Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse.

FR. MULCAHEY: How do you figure, Hawkeye?

HAWKEYE: Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?

FR. MULCAHEY: Sinners, I believe.

HAWKEYE: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chock full of them — little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.

Burt Prelutsky (b. 1940) American TV screenwriter, author, columnist, critic
M*A*S*H, 5×20 “The General’s Practitioner” (15 Feb 1977)
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Maybe this world is another planet’s Hell.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
(Attributed)

Quoted in Laurence J. Peter, Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time (1979).
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The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) Algerian-French novelist, essayist, playwright
“The Myth of Sisyphus”, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
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It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.

Margaret Mead (1901-1978) American anthropologist
(Attributed)

Quoted in Redbook (Feb 1971)
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There is probably no hell for authors in the next world — they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this.

Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) American epigrammatist, writer, publisher
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, Vol. 1, “Authors” (1862)
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The married state, with and without the affection suitable to it, is the completest image of heaven and hell we are capable of receiving in this life.

Richard Steele (1672-1729) Irish writer and politician
Spectator, #479 (9 Sep 1712)
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What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy?
To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy.
To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy.
To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy.
To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy.
To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy.
To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy.
To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy.
To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy.
To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy.
The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers.
The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Trial of C.B. Reynolds for blasphemy (May 1887)
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The God of Hell should be held in loathing, contempt and scorn. A God who threatens eternal pain should be hated, not loved — cursed, not worshiped. A heaven presided over by such a God must be below the lowest hell. I want no part in any heaven in which the saved, the ransomed and redeemed will drown with shouts of joy the cries and sobs of hell — in which happiness will forget misery, where the tears of the lost only increase laughter and double bliss.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Great Infidels” (1881)
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Heaven is where those are we love, and those who love us. And I wish to go to no world unless I can be accompanied by those who love me here. Talk about the consolations of this infamous doctrine. The consolations of a doctrine that makes a father say, “I can be happy with my daughter in hell;” that makes a mother say, “I can be happy with my generous, brave boy in hell;” that makes a boy say, “I can enjoy the glory of heaven with the woman who bore me, the woman who would have died for me, in eternal agony.” And they call that tidings of great joy.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do To Be Saved?” Sec. 9 (1880)
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If God made us, he will not destroy us. Infinite wisdom never made a poor investment, Upon all the works of an infinite God, a dividend must finally be declared. Why should God make failures? Why should he waste material? Why should he not correct his mistakes, instead of damning them? The pulpit has cast a shadow over even the cradle. The doctrine of endless punishment has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. I despise it, and I deny it.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do To Be Saved?” Sec. 1 (1880)
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I attacked the doctrine of eternal pain. I hold it in infinite and utter abhorrence. And if there be a God in this universe who made a hell; if there be a God in this universe who denies to any human being the right of reformation, then that God is not good, that God is not just, and the future of man is infinitely dark. I despise that doctrine, and I have done what little I could to get that horror from the cradle, that horror from the hearts of mothers, that horror from the hearts of husbands and fathers, and sons, and brothers, and sisters. It is a doctrine that turns to ashes all the humanities of life and all the hopes of mankind. I despise it.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Reply to Rev. Drs. Thomas and Lorimer,” speech, Chicago (26 Nov 1882)
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But see how many now cry out “Christ! Christ?”
Who shall be farther from him at the Judgment
Than many who, on earth, did not know Christ.

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy, “Paradise,” 19.106 (1321) [tr. J. Ciardi (1954)]
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They say that God says to me, “Forgive your enemies.” I say, “I do”; but he says, “I will damn mine.” God should be consistent. If he wants me to forgive my enemies he should forgive his.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Orthodoxy” (1884)
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If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” (1877)
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Is it necessary that Heaven should borrow its light from the glare of Hell? Infinite punishment is infinite cruelty, endless injustice, immortal meanness. To worship an eternal gaoler hardens, debases, and pollutes even the vilest soul. While there is one sad and breaking heart in the universe, no good being can be perfectly happy.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Great Infidels” (1881)
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While utterly discarding all creeds, and denying the truth of all religions, there is neither in my heart nor upon my lips a sneer for the hopeful, loving and tender souls who believe that from all this discord will result a perfect harmony; that every evil will in some mysterious way become a good, and that above and over all there is a being who, in some way, will reclaim and glorify every one of the children of men; but for those who heartlessly try to prove that salvation is almost impossible; that damnation is almost certain; that the highway of the universe leads to hell; who fill life with fear and death with horror; who curse the cradle and mock the tomb, it is impossible to entertain other than feelings of pity, contempt and scorn.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Gods” (1876)
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The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. (This is not actually true. The road to Hell is paved with frozen door-to-door salesmen. On weekends many of the younger demons go ice-skating down it.)

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
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I have so fixed my contemplations on Heaven, that I have almost forgot the Idea of Hell, and am afraid rather to lose the joyes of the one than endure the misery of the other; to be deprived of them is a perfect hell, & needs me thinkes no addition to compleate our afflictions; that terrible terme hath never detained me from sin, nor do I owe any good action to the name thereof: I feare God, yet am not afraid of him, his mercies make me ashamed of my sins, before his judgements afraid thereof: these are the forced and secondary method of his wisedome, which he useth but as the last remedy, and upon provocation, a course rather to deterre the wicked, than incite the vertuous to his worship. I can hardly thinke there was ever any scared into Heaven, they goe the fairest way to Heaven, that would serve God without a Hell, other Mercenaries that crouch unto him in feare of Hell, though they terme themselves the servants, are indeed but the slaves of the Almighty.

Thomas Browne (1605-1682) English physician and author
Religio Medici, Part 1, sec. 52 (1643)
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Been through Hell? Whaddya bring back for me?

Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots
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A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
“Religion and Science,” New York Times Magazine (9 Nov 1930)
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If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
(Spurious)

Also sometimes given as "If you're going through hell, don't stop." Not found in any of Churchill's written works or directly attributed to him in any reliable source. See here for more information.
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Hastur was paranoid, which was simply a sensible and well-adjusted reaction to living in Hell, where they really were all out to get you.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
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